Walking the Beaches of Solana Beach

Walking Solana Beach featured image

Hallelujah! I took the time to finally walk the beaches of Solana Beach on a glorious summer day. It was super hot inland, so I thought, what better time to go and check out the coast? I have wanted to go to Solana Beach forever, so here I am!

Solana Beach is situated between Encinitas to the North and Del Mar to the South, and the beach stretches for over 1.7 miles.

Solana Beach has also been a favorite hangout of juvenile great white sharks in the past couple of years!

Fun Fact- Solana is Spanish for “warm wind”

So here is a list of the beaches of Solana Beach that I had the pleasure of walking on, starting first from the North down to the South-

  • South Cardiff State Beach- Seaside Beach
  • Tide Park Beach
  • Fletcher Cove
  • North Seascape Surf Park
  • Del Mar Shores
  • Del Mar North Beach (Del Mar)

Let’s now look at each beach, followed by exciting facts highlighting each area.


South Cardiff State Beach- Seaside Beach

seaside beach beaches of Solana Beach

Seaside Beach is the very first beach on the northern boundary of Solana Beach. Two popular offshore surf breaks, Seaside Reef and Cardiff Reef, make South Cardiff State Beach a surfing mecca for locals and tourists alike.

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Free California State Beach Parking Pass? Yes!

California State Library Pass Featured Image

I wanted to stop by quickly to tell you that the California Library service offers the option of checking out a California State Beach Parking Pass!

Do you have a library card? Well, head over and check out a pass! If you do not have a library card, no problem! You can get a free library card at your local library (see info below).

 California State Library Beach Parks Pass Information

Visiting a State Beach in California can get pretty expensive. Purchasing an all-day pass can cost up to 20 dollars. Let’s take a look at what all entails concerning this free library parking pass program.

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Bean Clams- A Closer Look

Bean Clams Eli toes featured image

Welcome back to my “A Closer Look” series! Today I want to dive deep and write about what I came across while walking Oceanside Harbor Beach last month (where has the time gone?) Let me set up the scene.

Oceanside Harbor Bean Clams beach low tide

So it was April 11th around 3:30 pm; if I recall right, high tide was going to peak at 5.6 feet, so it was probably a 1.0 ft. Anyway, the beach was packed with bean clams! I’m used to sand crabs, not clams.

The colors stood out due to the enormity spread across the shoreline.

So I thought I would take a closer look at bean clams, but there is limited information online.

Bean clams are an edible marine bivalve that the earliest San Diego natives, the Kumeyaay, would regularly collect.

But what else can I find out?

Let’s now take a closer look, shall we?

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Bird Rock Beach, La Jolla Uncovered!

bird rock uncovered featured image

So on the very last day of January, I witnessed the second-lowest tide of the year, a -2.08! This is a personal record for me, as the lowest tide I had experienced was -1.98 at the Cabrillo National Monument tide pools,  followed by a -1.34 at Sunset Cliffs. I was excited about what we were in for over at Bird Rock Beach, La Jolla. Join me as I show you what is usually covered by water.

Bird Rock Beach is located centrally within the South La Jolla State Marine Reserve (SMR), so I would like to overview the area briefly.

As a bonus, I have added a few more places we visited on this particular day, including several spots south of Bird Rock Beach in South La Jolla. The view was beautiful, and I wished I could have explored the tide pools!

Unfortunately, I could not walk around the tide pools and explore with a broken finger, but I did get some incredible photos!

Oh, how I love La Jolla!!

Ready? Let’s go!

So, Where is Bird Rock Beach, La Jolla?

Bird Rock Beach google map link
Click on the photo for a map link.

Bird Rock Beach is the center of the South La Jolla State Marine Reserve (SMR) and, in my opinion, one of the best tide pool beaches in San Diego. In all honesty, Bird Rock is only accessible during a very low tide, so calling it a beach is a bit of a stretch, but let’s still go with it.

Continue reading “Bird Rock Beach, La Jolla Uncovered!”

Pacific Beach Boardwalk on a Mid-November Day

Pacific Beach featured image

One of my very best friends, Paula, lived in Pacific Beach for a bit when we were both in college. I have distinct memories of visiting her apartment right off the Pacific Beach Boardwalk and close to Crystal Pier.

Fast-forward 33 years, and we are back!

Seriously though, Paula, her husband John, and I spent an hour together soaking in the sun, ocean, and wind while reminiscing. Check out what we experienced on this sunny but very windy mid-November day.

Where is Pacific Beach?

Pacific Beach map google maps

button map Pacific Beach google maps

Pacific Beach is found between La Jolla to the north and Mission Beach to the South.

Let’s now take a look at some of the day’s highlights!

parasailing-Pacific-Beach
The wind was just suitable for parasailing over North Pacific Beach!

Here we are looking out over North Pacific Beach from the Crystal Pier. If you follow the surf break straight ahead, this is where the Tourmaline Surfing Park is located (just south of Law Street Beach.) When the conditions are right, you will see many surfers paddling out past False Point (see map above.)

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Flying Over San Diego Beaches

flying over san diego featured image

Today I would like to do something fun! On October 12, my family and I were coming home from a trip to Idaho. I was fortunate enough to sit in a window seat and photograph my favorite beach in the universe-San Onofre State Beach on the airplane! Seeing that it was only 9 am, the lighting was perfect. As a bonus, the plane flew the entire coast of North County San Diego and did not turn inland until flying over Torrey Pines State Beach. Come and check out what I witnessed!

Flying Over San Onofre State Beach

San Onofre state beach flying over plane

When I noticed that we were getting closer to San Diego, I eagerly awaited for us to arrive above my favorite beach, San Onofre/ Trestles. My love of the untouched and wild beaches of San Onofre State Beach can be seen in the number of times I have written about the area.

I have noted the surf break Churches in the photo above, the midpoint between Trestles and San Onofre State Beach.

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Carlsbad Sea Wall Trail-A Closer Look

Robert Frazee Beach Carlsbad San Diego

On the morning of April 29th, I woke up on a mission. A mission to take in some glorious sights and breathe in some crisp and clean ocean air. I wasn’t sure where to start this adventure, so I let my instincts guide me. While driving to the coast, several ideas pop in and out of my head. So today, I decided to take a closer look at the Carlsbad Sea Wall Trail, which is extremely popular in North Carlsbad.

—>Beaches of San Diego County<—

Below is an outline of the Beaches of Carlsbad. On this particular day, I visited all the beaches except South Ponto.

Carlsbad State Beach

  • Robert Frazee State Beach
  • Tamarack State Beach
  • Warm Water Jetty Beach

South Carlsbad State Beach

  • Terramar State Beach
  • North Ponto State Beach
  • South Carlsbad State Beach
  • South Ponto

Exploring the Carlsbad State Beach

Robert Frazee state beach sign

button map Robert Frazee State Beach

Today, I thought I would start over at Robert Frazee Beach, where Carlsbad State Beach’s northern boundary begins. A small parking lot is located off Oak Ave and Ocean St, but I found a parking spot right off Pine Street in the residential area.

Continue reading “Carlsbad Sea Wall Trail-A Closer Look”

Saltwater Fishing in San Diego

saltwater fishing san diego featured image

San Diego, known as “America’s Finest City,” boasts over 70 miles of coastline to explore! Are you a piscator? Or, in other words, do you like saltwater fishing? Do you prefer to fish from piers or jetties? From shore or out in the ocean? San Diego’s peak fishing season begins in April and until November. Would you like to learn more about saltwater fishing in San Diego?

–>The Beaches of San Diego County<–

What makes San Diego extraordinary is that the coastline is so varied. There are miles of sandstone bluffs in North County San Diego (San Onofre, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar). While down in South County San Diego, sandy beaches rule (Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, Coronado, Imperial Beach.) San Diego has it all, whether you prefer to fish from the beach, jetty, pier, boat, or by a chartered vessel!

piscator definition mackerel fishing pole

A Piscator Page, You Say?

I thought it would be good to have a specific page on my website with all of the San Diego saltwater fishing information in one place. A piscator page!

So down below, I have compiled complete lists of all San Diego saltwater fishing piers, saltwater sportfishing (half-day/full-day) party and charter boats, boat launch ramps, lobster fishing spots, the 2022 grunion run schedule, a few fish lists, as well as several prominent shore fishing locations.

As a bonus, I have included all harbor and bay cruises offered out of Oceanside Harbor, Mission Bay, and San Diego Bay for those who have no desire to fish but still yearn to be on the water.

To experience San Diego to the fullest, you must get on the ocean, breathe in all the negative ions, and let the salt water spray on your face. Believe me; you will thank me later. Also, don’t forget to pack a sweatshirt, as it can get chilly out on the water.

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2021 Grunion Run Schedule

grunion out water sandy beach sea foam

It is that time of year again! The grunion is here! If you recall, in 2020,  Californians could not witness the grunion of March and April, as we were not allowed anywhere near the water. Well, this year is different, and I, for one, am heading down this month to check them out in person. Below, I present the 2021 grunion and the updated 2022 grunion run schedule for Southern California.

Important- New Grunion Fishing Regulation 2022 Update!

The California Department of Fish and Game Commission has officially adopted new grunion fishing regulations!
Starting on June 1, 2022, the grunion closure/observation rule has been extended for one more month. No grunion may be taken from April 1 to June 31. Because of a decrease in numbers, a new bag limit of 30 fish will be enacted when the season opens again on July 1.

What is a Grunion, and How Do They Run?

marcro grunion fish head close up
credit-Nathan Rupert-(Flickr)

The grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) are small silvery fish between 5 to 7 inches long that live about 3 to 4 years. Each year, the grunion comes onto Southern California’s beaches between March and September to spawn during the Full and New Moons.

The female grunion catches a wave, digs a hole, and waits for males to touch her. Once touched, she will release her eggs, and the males cast their milt (sperm) on her body, which then flows down onto the eggs.

The process happens rather quickly, and up to eight males may fertilize each female. Interestingly, the female grunion may be out of the water for over five minutes! Once the male is done, he will catch a wave back into the ocean.

Each grunion run lasts four consecutive days when the tide is at its highest and longest. The eggs are buried in the sand for two weeks until the next high tide arrives. When the larvae become agitated by the waves, they hatch and are taken back into the ocean by the tide.

April and May are peak spawning months, so only observation is allowed.

Continue reading “2021 Grunion Run Schedule”

Plants at the Beach-San Onofre

San Onofre State Beach May Trails Beach

Boy, was I excited to finally go to the beach on May 24, 2020? Is anyone else happy to get out of their houses, too? I was so pleased to go to San Onofre State Beach twice a week. Because of the lockdown in California, I could not witness the beginning of wildflower season. So my main objective on this first day back to the beach was to see as many plants as possible! The first time we headed to Trestles, and the following Friday, I explored the southern section, just under San Onofre Campground at Bluffs Beach (or Trails Beach). Below, I would love to share with you what I saw- all the plants at the beach I encountered.

Previous to this beach adventure, I had just finished a post on Southern California Native Plants. This post has documented all the plants and wildflowers I encountered in the scrub and Southern Oak Woodland behind my neighborhood during Quarantine 2020.  After hours and hours of research, I sure learned a tremendous amount!

Plant Names Given by San Diego Native Inhabitants 

I have recently been fascinated with Native American uses of the native plants in the area (Ethnobotany), so I thought I would continue with the same format I followed for my previous native plant post.

The Kumeyaay people were the first known original inhabitants of San Diego. Kumeyaay translates to ‘those who face the water from a cliff.” (Click on the link to hear the correct way to pronounce Kumeyaay)

Continue reading “Plants at the Beach-San Onofre”

Where to go? San Diego King Tides 2020

new break beach low tide king tides 2020

Boy, what a year! Ironically, did you know that the last time my husband and I were at the beach before this nightmare of a year was on a King Tide? We experienced the extreme low tide on January 12 at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, which was sublime. If I had known that I wouldn’t be back at the coast until May 26, I would have taken more videos! Anyway, I digress. Let’s make the best of what is left of this unprecedented year, shall we?  Below are my top recommendations on the best San Diego beaches to visit and experience the highest and lowest tides left of the year, otherwise known as the last King Tides of 2020.

(Updated dates for 2021 and 2022 are down below!)

–>Top Ten Best San Diego Tidepools<–

The Last Lowest Tides of the Year!

November 2018 point mencinger la jolla low tide
Point Mencinger, La Jolla

So how low and high are we talking about? There are two high and two low tides per 24 hours on the West Coast of the United States.

What is the tide?

Tides are long-period waves that cross the planet, pulled back and forth from gravitational pulls due to the earth’s interaction with the moon, sun, and other heavenly bodies.

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San Diego Shark Sightings

San Diego Shark Sightings Featured Image

Seeing how I have been homebound during this unprecedented Worldwide Lockdown (I am sure you can relate), I had the time to do some shark research. I have always wondered how often sharks are seen off the coast of San Diego. Through the years, I have heard rumors, but seeing that I had a bunch of time on my hands, I set out to find all I could about San Diego shark sightings and encounters that happened off the coastline.

Sharks have fascinated me since I was a little girl, and my first scientific report was on the hammerhead shark in fourth grade.

hammerhead shark san diego shark sightings

Something so powerful and alluring about sharks tugging deep at your primal soul. The coldness of the eyes and the methodic tail movements that propel them through the water always capture my attention and imagination. I mean, the fact that sharks have been around for over 400 million years blows me away!

But I digress.

My mind was running wild while reading the fascinating shark encounter reports. It was a welcome reprieve to escape the world’s chaos.

So, why not document the various shark sightings/ encounters in San Diego County, beach by beach?  It would make for a great addition to my website, as well as for my curiosity.  

Sad News From Santa Cruz, California

While writing this article, something truly tragic happened off the coast of Northern California at 1:30  pm on May 11.

On the northern end of Monterey Bay, Ben Kelly, 26 years old, was attacked and killed by a shark while surfing. The tragedy occurred 100 yards  (91 meters) from the shore of Sand Dollar Beach at Manresa State Beach, Santa Cruz.

Kelly was surfing with a friend, who said they could swim back to shore but could not stop the bleeding.

Experts also noted that this area is notorious for juvenile great white shark sightings and is called “Shark Park.”

But a juvenile did not attack Ben, as experts reported the shark to have been larger than 10 feet.

What Types of Sharks Are Found off the Coast of San Diego County?

Surfing Terramar San Diego Shark Sightings
Terramar Beach

Before I get into all the critical shark sighting data I have uncovered, I thought I would first make a list of possible sharks seen in and around San Diego waters.

To go one step further, I have separated them into Coastal and Pelagic groups.  Down below are the definitions given to simplify the difference between the two.

Continue reading “San Diego Shark Sightings”

Are Any San Diego Beaches Open Yet? (Updated May 2)

san diego beaches open featured image

Every morning that I have been waking up this past month, I have to keep reminding myself that this is not a dream, almost the entire World is on lockdown. The first question that comes to mind every day is- are any San Diego beaches open yet?

North Crystal pier surfers san diego beaches open
Pacific Beach

It has been a surreal experience, and I am quite confident that all of you reading this, concur. I am not going to lie. The inhibition of travel to the coast hit me the hardest, and I even work in the restaurant business.

I lost my job temporarily (we hope) on March 15. Also, losing my job didn’t hit me as hard as not being able to go to the beach, or in other words, being told to stay in my home with restricted travel limits. Every day, I would scour the internet to find any positive moves to correct this disastrous decision to cut off the coast to the population. You can read up-to-date information here, which includes linked sources.

Well, enough of my rantings. Are any of the San Diego beaches open yet? Let’s take a look at what I have found.

Continue reading “Are Any San Diego Beaches Open Yet? (Updated May 2)”

Grunion Run 2020 Schedule

It has taken me a bit to tell you that the grunion, Southern California’s infamous fish, mating season is upon us! Why? Well, at this time, all the San Diego County beaches were closed; thus, all citizens were barred from experiencing the coastline, so I hesitated. The Department of Fish and Wildlife even took the chart off its website, and their reasoning was not to encourage people to come to the beach and witness this phenomenon. Below, I present the San Diego grunion run scheduled for May- September, anticipating that the beaches will be open on May 1st (fingers crossed).

First, I will give you a little background information on why this is such a spectacular event, followed by my recommendation on the best beaches in San Diego that would be ideal for witnessing the grunion mating dance.

What is a Grunion Run, and Why is it a Big Deal?

Single Grunion spawning beach sand
Wikimedia Commons

The grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) is a type of smelt that is small, silvery, and about the size of a sardine. These fish are only found off the coast of Southern California, from San Luis Obispo down to Northern Baja California.

Continue reading “Grunion Run 2020 Schedule”

Live Streaming Beach Cams

live streaming beach cams featured image

In this time of unprecedented beach restrictions across the globe, I thought it would be the right time to do a little more research concerning being able to experience the beach while we all “shelter-in-place.” How do you ask? Well, I am sure that the above title gives it away. Down below, I have found some of the best live-streaming beaches cams out there.

So why did I choose these particular beaches? No apparent reason. I would be happy looking at a small wave pool at this point. But, no, I chose these specific beaches because of the aesthetics and how they made me feel. A few webcams have ads, but you only have to wait 15 seconds until it is refreshed again.

I hope that you enjoy them all just as much as I do. On a side note, I have also included a few other beaches from all around the world. Which one will you find the most exciting? Have a look!

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